Yearly Wrap Up

2016 Wrap Up

How nice it has been to break from blogging for a while! I stopped blogging in July, although my posting had already been sparse at that point. After six (SIX!) years of blogging, I needed some time off. 2016 was not my busiest year, but I felt drained. I designed two shows in the late winter/early spring, neither of which were of personal interest to me, so that always requires extra effort.

At the end of the semester we moved out of our rental and into our first home! We had already owned it for a month or so but had spent the time refinishing the wood floors, which was a miserable task (and I wasn’t even doing the hard parts). I think we were in it less than a week before we were off for our annual Maine summer vacation, where we took an extra week than usual because it was the first time James was not working over the summer.

Once we returned, however, it was back to work on the house. We completely ripped out the kitchen, all the way down through the floor – really, there was no floor at one point! I would love to say we rallied and put together our kitchen in a month like we thought, but the truth is we’re still working on it. We only just got lighting and electrical outlets and put in the fridge. Despite all the frustration it has caused, we really love it, and not just because we put in every floorboard, cupboard and splash of paint ourselves.

I also cut my hair into a pixie in the summer. It was not the cathartic experience it is for some women, but I’m glad I tried it.

Now I am quite ready to sew and blog anew, but today’s post is to fill you in on the sewing I’ve done since May as well as serve as my annual sewing summary post. It has mostly been a year of practical sewing.

Personal Projects

An asterisk denotes a stash-busting project.

  1. James’s Thread Theory Comox Trunks*

2. More Cloth Habit Rosy Lady Shorts for me*

3. Simplicity 2806: Two grocery bags*

4. Anna Maria Horner Lemon Drop Tunic*

5. Ana’s Grainline Portside Travel Set

6. Hey June Lane Raglan*

7. Simplicity 9958 Dad’s birthday boxers

7. McCall’s 6696 Shirt-Dress* – This four-month venture will get its own post soon, because I have a LOT to say about it.

8. Pattern from Threads Magazine, Sequined Fascinator – I taught an Introduction to Millinery workshop to my students and we made fascinator hats.

9. “Saucy Spaghetti and Fork Man” – This was a silly couples costume James and I did for Halloween. His shirt is from Kwik Sew 2881, and is actually a cycling shirt. My dress was a generic Simplicity costume pattern, one of those ones that can be a nun, a jailbird or a cave-woman all from the same dress, then I added yarn and crumpled kraft paper “meatballs”. James made his headpiece from an old bike helmet and foam.

10. James’ Carolyn PJ pants – Long story short, I made the Carolyn pajama pants for myself and they fit horribly, but they fit James’ quite well, so they’re his now. I might finish the top and give that to him too. Photos to come!

11. Simplicity 2317 – After the Carolyn PJ fiasco, I just used a simple Simplicity pattern for pj pants for myself. The top is still in the works. Photos to come!

12. Bag for Victorian Streetwalk – My friend and I participated in our city’s annual Victorian Streetwalk and we had or borrowed everything but I still needed a small bag so I pulled out my drawstring reticule that I made for a Ren Faire in 2011 and finally repaired it.

13. Simplicity 8268* – James’ joggers, which will also get their own post…

14. Sam’s stocking – I made this one for my sister’s boyfriend this year.

15. My stocking* – And I managed to squeeze mine in too (I bought the fabric last year)! Just needs my name.

16. Kwik Sew 3076* – (Honey-bee PJ remake) The wool ones I made shrank weirdly so I made fleece ones – in which she has already put several holes as well as rolled in dirt and then rubbed it on our newly painted white walls. That’s the thanks you get when you’re a dog mom.

17. Travel Pillow* – I re-made my travel pillow and learned what works best for stuffing (scraps are too lumpy!)

Theatrical Sewing

  1. 1970s shirt for The Last Days of Judas Iscariot
Costume Design by Author. Photo by Sue Kessler.

2. Lace Robe – Nothing exciting or complex, but I did finally use a vintage John Weitz pattern! We made it from a red stretch lace.

Costume Coordination by Patty Pawliczak. Photo by Sue Kessler.

3. WWCTW dresses – This was an exciting new venture for me. I took the pattern from my 1940s shirt-dress and combined it with a modern shirt-dress pattern the designers chose all while grading it up several sizes.

Costume Design by Julia Kelliher and Leah Mirani. Photo by Sue Kessler.

4. Cascade Skirt – Using the experience from the WWCTW dresses as a jumping off point, I drafted a pattern for a tiered cascade circle skirt for our last show of the year. It came out better than I hoped and I’m really proud of myself for trying it.

Costume Design by Patty Pawliczak.

I’m honestly surprised at how much sewing I got done with everything going on. It was one of my most productive years, in terms of numbers, but I also managed to focus on sewing useful things and stash-busting. I think 2017 will be a bit more fanciful, project-wise, but I hope to keep up my good sewing habits.

2 thoughts on “2016 Wrap Up

  1. I'm looking forward to hearing your thoughts on McCall's 6696! I recently picked it up for $2 since EVERRRYONE LOVES IT but I haven't started in on it at all so I'll await your post! 🙂


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